Crunchyroll Staff's Winter Anime Favorites!
It's time to say goodbye to cold weather and the winter anime that kept us warm
The days are finally starting to warm up here at the Crunchyroll offices in San Francisco, and it's time to say goodbye to winter and all of the anime that helped keep us warm during the colder months. While we're pumped to explore all the new series that are about to start, we wanted to take a moment for our customary round up of seasonal favorites. From the emotional psychic battles of Mob Psycho 100 to the legendary underdog story of the Rising of the Shield Hero, here are Crunchyroll staff's winter anime favorites!
Mob Psycho 100 II
Season one of Mob Psycho 100 was so good it made me want to cry. And then season two came around and actually made me cry. Every week. A lot. The psychic battles are once again brought to life with some of the most creative animation I’ve ever seen, and it’s all supported by a really touching story about human empathy and figuring yourself out! Love it.
Boogiepop and Others
The opening three episode arc of Boogiepop and Others is a self-contained story that functions as a really engaging sci-fi thriller short story. It’s really abstract and sort of hard to follow so it isn’t a series for everyone, but give the first three episodes a shot–if you enjoyed them as much as I did, you’ll love the rest of the show.
That time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
Rimuru’s exploits continued into this year and they’re still fun! While the show never quite reaches the heights of the episodes of the first arc, it still maintained more than enough charm for me to come back each week.
The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland isn’t revolutionary–children outsmarting a hostile, all-powerful society has certainly been done before. But this spin on the classic trope is just done so well. Watching the children and adults spar on the mental battlefield is a thrilling experience and this anime does the source material justice!
Mob Psycho 100 II
I loved the first Mob Psycho 100 season, and I have to admit that season 2 has been a real rollercoaster for me, cementing this series as one of my all time favorites. I’m really curious to see how this season ends, and if there’s any news on a future season… It certainly seems like we’ll be left with some questions to answer! But Mob has the overall package of a great anime: beautiful, sometimes world shattering animation, amazing characters, a consistent and tightly written story, and real heart. The story of being kind is what propels Mob Psycho 100, and season 2 really delved into that even more, weaving it between the psychic fights and goofy comedy. I’m almost sad that this show is about to end, but I loved every minute of it!
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
This is probably my surprise hit of the season; when I first heard of the show, I didn’t give it much thought and kind of dismissed it as just another high school romance show; I’ve been burned by a lot of high school romance/comedy shows in the past few seasons, so I was reluctant at first to give this one a shot. Voice acting really gives this show a lot of the amazing moments it has, with perfectly delivered lines and sequences that just turn even simple, seemingly stupid jokes into absolute riots. Explaining the joke ruins it, so I’ll just say that Kaguya-sama knows exactly what its doing and how to get a laugh out of me, and it has some of the best constructed jokes in a while.
My Roommate is a Cat
I love cats, so this show was initially a no-brainer for me, but what I ended up finding here is an honest, touching show about a man dealing with depression, the loss of loved ones, anxiety, and… well, a cat. I won’t get too personal here but the past few years have been very hard on me and I find a lot of myself in Subaru’s struggles, and it's been oddly calming to see those things understood and not treated as a burden or problem in the show. Subaru’s issues are never boiled down to things like “just cheer up,” “go outside more,” “be positive,” but we instead watch him try to overcome his issues with an amazing support group of friends. And, of course, Haru, the titular cat, is an amazing treat as well, and seeing events from her perspective is really charming; every time an episode finishes, I find myself hunting down my own cats and giving them lots of scritches!
The Promised Neverland
I don’t think an anime has had me screaming at my screen quite as much as Promised Neverland has in recent memory. Assuming you don’t know anything about the series, I’ll just say that the distillation of suspense and “who knows what” that this show aims for makes every episode seem like it lasts for an eternity and also a single second. I constantly find myself distressed over what will happen next, and just when I think I’ve figured things out, or things seem to be going well, the show just hits me with another curveball and a devious smile. I’ll keep this recommendation spoiler free and just say that if you love suspense and mystery, you need to check out Promised Neverland too, so you can scream at your TV like I did every week this season!
The Rising of the Shield Hero
As I said in the ‘Crunchyroll Features' Most-Anticipated Anime of Winter 2019!’ article, I’m not super into isekai that features a hero that is seemingly awesome right off the bat but I was excited for Shield Hero knowing there was a dark horse aspect and it did not disappoint. The intense scenes of rage and confusion threw everyone onto an emotional rollercoaster that was well worth it. It was also interesting to find the character development of Naofumi incredibly complex and the moments of kindness very endearing to watch. The actual RPG elements added a dynamic touch in animation that I also appreciated.
My Roommate is a Cat
This was the feel good show that would leave one warm and fuzzy after each episode this season. With action packed shows like Mob Psycho 100, The Rising of the Shield Hero, and Boogiepop, a change in pace can help to maximize enjoyment for every show. This show wasn’t only cool because it gave the perspective of both the human and the cat and answered a lot of questions that real life cat owners might have. It was also about mourning, the importance of relying on others and protecting others, and how important it is to take care of yourself when no one else is there to make sure that you do so.
Well this one was a pleasant surprise for me. I tend to fall into seemingly harem anime rather than jump willingly into them and I fell hard for this one. Despite the five separate personalities of the quintuplets, it was charming to see that all five valued family above all else. Each character was intense in unique ways and that might’ve cause grief for our main character but it was entertaining for the audience. This show made me genuinely laugh the most this season and that factor alone makes it a winner in my book.